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  • Daniel Wilson

Crackers Rally Past Cannons from 7-0 Down

Cartersville, GA – The Atlanta Crackers (6-5) scored eight straight runs to overcome a 7-0 deficit and back strong relief outings from Gavin Mask and Tams Mullins to win 8-7 over the Cartersville Cannons (4-8) on Saturday night at Georgia Highlands.

Mask (1-0) and Mullins (2) combined for 7.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit, one walk and one hit batter as they held off the Cartersville bats while Atlanta made their comeback. Mask entered the game in the second with a runner on second and the Crackers down 7-0 and proceeded to retire 13 straight batters. The junior from South Georgia State ran into trouble in the seventh when he allowed a single and hit batter to lead off the seventh, but settled in and retired the next three batters he faced. His final stat line saw him go 5.1 innings, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts to earn his first win on the season.

Mullins then came on to pitch after the Crackers took the lead in the eighth and walked the first batter he faced but then pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts to earn his second save.

Cartersville fell to 4-8 after blowing their third lead in their last four games. The Cannons led 9-0 over the Atlanta Blues on Monday, June 17 and 3-1 on Wednesday, June 19 before ultimately losing 13-12 and 10-5 respectively.

Trailing 7-0, Atlanta started to mount their comeback in the fourth with two runs on base hits by Jaden Anderson and Kaleb Huffman to cut the deficit to 7-2. Then in the fifth, with a runner on second, Luke Sweigart hit an RBI single up the middle and advanced to second on a base hit by Gage Shaver. A walk by Drew Rothschild then loaded the bases for Jaden Anderson, who reached on an RBI fielder’s choice on a mental fielding indecision at third that allowed all runners to reach safely and make it 7-4 and keep the bases loaded.

Kaleb Huffman then smacked a two-run double to right field to pull the Crackers within one before Charlie Banks tied the game with an RBI single up the middle. Huffman tried to stretch the go-ahead run across on the same play but was gunned out at the plate.

The score remained 7-7 until the eighth when the Crackers loaded the bases on two walks and a hit-by-pitch from Ethan Carroll (2-1) with one out before scoring on an RBI groundout by Parker Ladd to take the lead for good.

The Cannons had a chance to tie the game in the eighth when William Fincher drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a pass ball and stole third. William Curcio then came on to pinch hit and hit a line drive towards the left side, but Parker Ladd made a spectacular diving catch to his left to end the inning and keep the run off the board.

Cartersville jumped out front in the first inning with a two-run homer by William Fincher, his third of the season, and then scored five more runs on four hits in the second, highlighted by a base-clearing, three-run double by Hank Smith, to take a 7-0 lead, but couldn’t manage any more runs for the rest of the game.

Dawson Bishop made his first start for the Cannons and pitched four innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts, but did not factor into the decision.

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